Tiruvannamalai (Tamil: Tiruvaṇṇāmalai IPA: [ˈtiɾɯʋaɳːaːmalɛi̯], also Thiruvannamalai or Trinomali and Trinomalee during British times) is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and a part of Tondaimandalam (Tondai Nadu) region. The city is administered by a special grade municipality that covers an area of 13.64 km (5.27 sq mi) and a population of 145,278 and urban agglomeration had a population of 398,780 in 2011. It is the administrative headquarters of Tiruvannamalai District. Roadways are the major mode of transport in Tiruvannamalai, while the city also has rail connectivity. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the town. Tiruvannamalai is named after the central deity of the Annamalaiyar Temple, Annamalaiyar. The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated during the day of the full moon between November and December, and a huge beacon is lit atop the Annamalai hill. The event is witnessed by three million pilgrims. On the day preceding each full moon, pilgrims circumnavigate the temple base and the Annamalai hills in a worship called Girivalam, a practice carried out by one million pilgrims yearly.
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